The Federal Election Commission has increased the limits on the amount an individual can contribute to a candidate or national political party for the 2015-2016 election cycle.  An individual can now give up to $2,700 per election to a candidate for federal office, up from $2,600.  Because the primary and general count as separate elections, individuals may now give $5,400 per candidate per cycle and couples may give $10,800.

This cycle’s adjustments are especially significant, however, because they are the first that will apply to a series of national political party accounts created by the omnibus spending legislation Congress passed in December.  As we noted at the time, that legislation allows national party committees to create up to three additional specialized “accounts,” each of which can receive contributions from individuals and PACs that are triple the amount that can be given to the main party account, which has increased from $32,400 to $33,400.  These accounts can be used to pay for expenses related to presidential nominating conventions, headquarters buildings of the party, and election recounts, contests, and other legal proceedings.  Effectively, this means that individuals can now give up to $801,600 to a party’s various accounts each year.  And a couple can give up to $3,206,400 to a party in the 2015-2016 election cycle.

The following chart shows more details on the limits for individuals in 2015 and 2016:

An individual may contribute to …
Federal Candidates $2,700 per election
National party committees — main account $33,400 per year
National party committees — convention account (RNC and DNC only) $100,200 per year
National party committees — party building account $100,200 per year
National party committees — legal fund account $100,200 per year
State or local party committees’ federal accounts $10,000 per year
Federal PACs $5,000 per year